Spending in tough times

By Guy Callender

In the wake of the global financial crisis (GFC), Australia has once again shown itself to be a 'lucky country'.

Other countries had a very tough time during the GFC and many are still sweating as global economies struggle to emerge from the gloom of a sudden, sharp recession.

High debt, high unemployment, low business and consumer confidence are features of much of the global economic picture.

The USA is the world's largest economy and is unable to find a suitable budgeting process to boost economic activity.

As Paul Krugman recently noted, "the inadequacy of the [US] administration initial economic plan has landed it – and the nation – in a political trap.

More stimulus is desperately needed, but in the public's eyes, the failure of the initial program…has discredited government action to create jobs. In short, welcome to 1938" – where the same scenario befell US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

What is most striking about the GFC is the number of different ways countries have responded to the crisis. MORE>>

Read the full report: Spending in Tough Times [PDF]

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